PRISCILLA SUSAN PO, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. JUDGE JULIAN LUSTRE, AND JOSE P. MANANZAN, respondents. G.R. No. L-34341, August 22, 1988.
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On April 16, 1971, respondent Judge Lustre denied the motion for summary judgment, observing that "the interrogatories ... are nothing but a reiteration of a portion of the plaintiffs allegations in the complaint, which have already been answered and denied by the defendant in his answer" hence, they "need not be answered again if asked in the form of interrogatories." (p. 10, Brief for Respondents, p. 151, Rollo.)
After the trial court had denied her motion for reconsideration of its order, the petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals on a petition for certiorari (CA-G.R. No. 00220-R entitled, "Priscilla Susan Po vs. Hon. Julian Lustre, et al.") which the Court of Appeals likewise denied on September 23, 1971 for lack of merit. The pertinent observations of the Court of Appeals are quoted hereunder:
... With the absolute denial of private respondent in his answer to the complaint, petitioner's subsequent request for admission of the same facts already denied does not serve the purpose of Rule 26 as a mode of discovery. As aptly stated by respondent Judge, Rule 26 contemplates interrogatories that would clarify and tend to show light on the truth or falsity of the allegations of the complaint, and does not refer to a mere reiteration of what has been alleged in the complaint and unconditionally denied in the answer. Petitioner's request constitutes an utter redundancy and a useless, pointless process which private respondent should not be subjected to and which the lower court should not countenance as the respondent Judge rightfully did. Respondent Judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction nor has he unlawfully deprived petitioner of any right in concluding that petitioner's request for admission does not fall under Rule 26 and that therefore the same need not be answered by private respondent. The allegations of facts in the complaint remain to have been controverted by the answer of private respondent to the complaint. There being genuine issues between the parties, respondent Judge correctly denied petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment. Unless it is shown that respondent Judge has committed a palpable grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, this Court will not issue the writs prayed for. (pp. 19-20, Rollo.)
Nothing daunted, the petitioner appealed to this Court.
An examination of petitioner's complaint and her request for admission confirms Judge Lustre's finding (which the Court of Appeals upheld) that the "fact" set forth in the request for admission, including the amount of damages claimed, are the same factual allegations set forth in her complaint which the defendant either admitted or denied in his answer.
A party should not be compelled to admit matters of fact already admitted by his pleading and concerning which there is no issue (Sherr vs. East, 71 A2d 752, Terry 260, cited in 27 C.J.S. 91), nor should he be required to make a second denial of those already denied in his answer to the complaint. A request for admission is not intended to merely reproduce or reiterate the allegations of the requesting party's pleading but should set forth relevant evidentiary matters of fact, or documents described in and exhibited with the request, whose purpose is to establish said party's cause of action or defense. Unless it serves that purpose, it is, as correctly observed by the Court of Appeals, "pointless, useless," and "a mere redundancy."
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